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Suggestions for May trip to Poland Slovenia and maybe Prague

Hello!

First off, this forum is so freaking awesome! Everyone seems so helpful and nice and it is a gold mine of information.

My girlfriend and I bought tickets on the mega cheap (400.00 round trip) via norweigon air from Austin into London Gatwick. We leave May 14th and return the 25th out of the same airport. This is the first time we have planned an international, multi-country trip by ourselves, so we are trying to lean on the experience and suggestions of others as much as possible. We know we want to go to Poland and Slovenia for sure. They appealed greatly to us after reading about how they are off the beaten path for most tourist, the people are nice, the countries are just as, if not more beautiful than more popular western European countries and the fact that they are somewhat affordable for people looking to travel modestly, but also comfortably, if possible.

Slovenia appealed most to me for all the hiking/ outdoor activities it has to offer. Poland is something my girlfriend really wants to see. I think it would also be interesting given all of its history. We are both 27, active and not into partying or drinking. After reading many of the posts here, I am not sure if it is wise for us to attempt to add another country onto our trip. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew, however we also do not want to sell ourselves short on as an amazing of an experience as possible. Given that we have these two destinations in mind, what would yall's suggestions be? I have noticed in looking at plane tickets, getting to these places from London isn't necessarily cheap, especially Poland to Slovenia or London to Slovenia. Any suggestions on that topic would also be greatly appreciated.

We want to see as much as possible while on this trip and we would especially like to take advantage of all the natural beauty these places have to offer. Where in Slovenia would be the best place to stay to easily access the hiking and mountains, but still allow us to not worry about having to find food and restaurants easily? Do y'all have any particular names of places for us to lodge? What should we expect to be paying per day for lodging and food for both of these countries. Should we rent a car since we want to do a lot of exploring and adventuring.

I have read about the capital city of Ljubljana and I think it would be nice to stay there at least one night to get a feel for the city and it's people. We were also looking at going to Bovec, since it looked like it offered some white water kyakiing or rafting. After reading about the last few peoples experiences with it, I am not sure if it is worth it. What is y'alls take?

For Poland, we were looking at going to Krakow, but as of right now, that is all we have figured out for there. We will want to go to Auschwitz for sure. We were considering taking a train from Krakow to Prague and then flying from Prague to Ljublijana. Someone told us it is a very cool experience to take that train ride. The train thing is something my girlfriend brought up, so I have no idea what it would be like.

Thanks again for all this wonderful info!

Al

Posted by
4637 posts

When I travel and want to see more than one country, the logistics are important. I try to see countries which are next to each other or at least close to each other. So if I would decide to go to Poland I would try to pair it with Czech Republic and/ or Slovakia. Like Slovenia Slovakia is a very pretty mountainous country, it is on Euro and it is substantially cheaper than Slovenia. If I would decide for Slovenia then natural pairing for that country would be Croatia. Or its other neighbors (Austria, Italy.). Logistically putting countries this way together saves you money and time.

Posted by
4855 posts

alesem1992, so you really only have ten days, to visit multiple places that are not that close to each other. Actually, eight days, since you're flying into Gatwick, and need to get from there to somewhere (one day) and back from somewhere (one day). Then you're proposing a long train ride and plane trip to get to Slovenia without apparently spending any time in Prague. That's more like seven days to actually see anything. That sounds like time for only two places (not countries). Plot this out on a chart, including transit time (and time getting to and from airports, rail stations, security lines, and waiting to board) and you'll see how much time that eats up. I dont see much need or opportunity to rent a car, especially with cross border drop off fees and restrictions. Looks like three days in Krakow, and three days in Slovenia. The extra cost to getting where you really want to be is why taking cheap flights to somewhere else isn't always a good deal.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the suggestions! All of the points y’all bring up make a lot of sense, especially when it comes to properly planning the logistics of a trip. It is way more logical to visit countries next to each other rather than jumping around with such a tight timeframe already. I was concerned about that. I just spoke to my girlfriend and showed her what you all replied and she agrees too. One of us if going to do research on the Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia option and one us is going to research the Croatia and Slovenia option with maybe Austria in that one too, if it works.

Prior to posting, I did read up on the info this forum has on renting a car in Europe and about the fees of dropping a car in a country different from where you picked it up. I was not planning on driving a car across borders, but I was curious if it would be worth renting one while in any of these countries, given that we want to do hikes and things that may be off beaten path to really get a full sense of the country.

As for the suggestions on the countries and two different trips you recommended, do you all have any recommendations for itineraries, places to lodge, things to eat, and sights to see? I will go into the forum and research these places also and see what other people have written.

Also, when would be a good time to start reserving lodging and when would be a good time to book the flight from London to whatever trip we decide on of the two suggested? I apologize in advance if I am annoying anyone with my questions!

Posted by
1840 posts

A few thoughts...

  • Any interest in just hanging out in London or maybe doing a London-Paris combo. That would seem to allow you to reap the benefit of the low fare to Europe without adding a lot of expense to get to other places.
  • Would you consider just one country? Krakow is great. Zakopane near the Slovakia border has quite a bit of outdoor offerings around it (though crossing into Slovakia to go deeper into the Tatra Mountains is also certainly reasonable).
  • Slovenia has plenty to keep you busy for a week.